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Berkeley Ideas Festival is just 6 weeks away; marriage equality pioneers Sandy Stier and Kris Perry will be there

Sandy Stier and Kris Perry. Photo: William Newton
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This year’s Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014 is just six weeks away.

Happening in downtown Berkeley on Friday Oct. 24 and Saturday Oct. 25, the Bay Area’s only ideas festival promises to be one of the most memorable events of the fall. 

Buy your tickets now and take advantage of the special early bird rate!

Berkeleyside created and produces Uncharted, and we have been working furiously behind the scenes to make the festival an event you will love. We’ve signed some wonderful new speakers for you to meet, including:

  • Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human
  • Steve Coll, Dean, Columbia Journalism School
  • Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, marriage equality pioneers
  • Dale Dougherty, Founder, Maker Media
  • Andrés Roemer, Consul General of Mexico, San Francisco

See the full speaker listContinue reading »

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Uncharted Berkeley Ideas Festival: What’s it all about?

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Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas is coming to downtown Berkeley on Oct. 24-25.

You may have heard about Uncharted, either recently, or last year, when the inaugural festival was held to much acclaim.

But what is an ideas festival? What happens there? Why should you come? Check out the snappy video above which was created to answer those questions, and more. … Continue reading »

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Announcing Uncharted 2014: 2 days spent with the great thinkers of today to find out what’s coming tomorrow

Uncharted 2013-3
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Today, Berkeleyside announced the initial speaker line-up for Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014. Among those headlining the festival are Nobel prizewinner Randy Schekman, Pulitzer Prize composer John Adams, marriage equality pioneers Kris Perry and Sandy Stier,
social psychologist Claude Steele, author Adam Mansbach — as well as dozens of other “dangerous thinkers.”

Uncharted, which takes place on Friday Oct. 24 and Saturday Oct. 25, aims to bring participants together with some of the world’s great thinkers for two thrilling days of discussion, debate, and workshops designed to engage and inspire. Much more than a series of lectures, Uncharted is a festival of ideas.

Uncharted is offered at a fraction of the cost of other “ideas festivals.” Right now, those who register to attend can save $100 over 2013 prices.  … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Borgman’, SF Int’l LGBT Film Festival

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Most major studio productions -– heck, most films period — cleave to a formula. Though you may not be able to predict each specific plot development before it occurs, nine times out of ten you’ll be able to guess with some precision how the story will unfold: hero/heroine meets boy/girl, hero/heroine loses boy/girl, hero/heroine learns valuable lesson and regains boy/girl’s undying love (or, alternatively, monster emerges from ocean, monster stomps major metropolis, monster succumbs to best efforts of military-industrial complex).

Such, however, is not the case with Borgman (opening at Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinema on Friday, June 20 – no East Bay play dates are currently scheduled), Dutch filmmaker Alex van Warderman’s challenging and discomfiting new feature. Preceded by the cryptic (and unattributed) quote, “And they descended upon Earth to strengthen their ranks”, and cut from cloth similar to that used in Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, it’s unpredictable from start to finish. … Continue reading »

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The most important Berkeley stories of 2013

Spring storms over Berkeley. Photo: D.H. Parks
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2013 was a significant year for Berkeley residents, and not only because of what happened inside the city’s boundaries. This was the year the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and declined to consider the repeal of Prop 8 — two rulings that opened the way for gays to marry one another. (Two Berkeley women, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were the plaintiffs in the latter suit.) 2013 was also the year that sign-ups began for Affordable Health Care Act and that Congress let unemployment benefits lapse for millions, and sliced food stamp benefits. Berkeley residents were affected by all those developments. The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened and BART workers went on a disabling strike — twice.

But there were a number of developments unique to Berkeley that will change the shape of the city for years to come. Here are Berkeleyside’s selections for the most important stories of the year. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 10.02.13

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Berkeley to look at closing Domestic Partnership Registry

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Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality in California, Berkeley Councilman Darryl Moore believes the city’s Domestic Partnership Registry should be closed down.

The Domestic Partnership Registry affords everyone, be they in same-sex or heterosexual relationships, a place to have their relationships recognized by a government entity. A resolution proposing it be abolished drafted by Moore will be considered by the Berkeley City Council tomorrow.

If approved, the resolution would go into effect on Oct. 11, the 22nd anniversary of the registry’s creation as well as National Coming Out Day. The resolution also proposes making Oct. 11 Marriage Equality Day. … Continue reading »

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Photos: Berkeley celebrates Pride in San Francisco

Berkeley couple at pride
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Hundreds of thousands of people turned out for the 43rd San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade yesterday. Always a popular event, it was especially so this year coming just four days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, a Berkeley couple with four children, were there in triumph. The couple were lead plaintiffs in the legal challenge to Prop. 8. after they sued to overturn the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban. They were also first in line to be married at San Francisco City Hall on Friday afternoon. … Continue reading »

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Best of Berkeleyside: This week’s most popular posts


Chefs at work in the re-opened Chez Panisse kitchen. Photo: Amanda Marsalis

Berkeley’s Chez Panisse reopened to the public on Monday, after the early-morning fire in March which shut Alice Waters’ landmark restaurant for nearly four months. Berkeleyside marked the reopening with an exclusive Waters interview and a photo gallery showing the slightly revamped interior. The Berkeley restaurant scene is of course far more than Chez Panisse and the Gourmet Ghetto. Berkeleyside this week broke the story that John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman, owners of downtown hotspot Comal, are hoping to open a new restaurant in the Wright’s Garage space on Ashby Avenue in the Elmwood.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Prop. 8 couple first to marry after stay lifted

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Prop. 8 plaintiffs and Berkeley couple Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were married this afternoon by Attorney General Kamala Harris at San Francisco City Hall. The wedding took place at around 4:30 pm, shortly after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay on the 2010 lower-court ruling that would clear the way for same-sex marriages, to begin immediately throughout California.

Perry and Stier were at the head of the line that formed at San Francisco City Hall to obtain marriage licenses and Harris rushed to City Hall to perform the first marriage. According to media, including KQED News and the Los Angeles Times, the couple were the first same-sex marriage in California since 2008.

At the event, Harris said: “Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, I now declare you spouses for life.” Once they were married, Perry exclaimed: “It was worth the wait!” … Continue reading »

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Obama lauds Berkeley couple who fought Prop. 8 and won

Kriss Perry and Sandy Stier
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Kris Perry and Sandy Stier are the Berkeley women who filed a legal challenge to Prop. 8. They first tried to marry in 2004 when then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing licenses. They are the parents of four boys.

Shortly after the Supreme Court released its ruling on Prop. 8 this morning, President Obama called the couple, who had been waiting at the court for the ruling, to congratulate them (see video above). … Continue reading »

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Rainbow flag marks Supreme Court cases

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The rainbow flag, a symbol of diversity and inclusiveness, was raised over Berkeley City Hall on Tuesday, to mark arguments in the US Supreme Court on Proposition 8. It will also fly tomorrow, during arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act.

“Berkeley is joining cities all around the country to show support for full equality,” said Judy Appel, a member of the school board, and executive director of Our Family Coalition, which promotes social justice and inclusiveness of LGBTQ families.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley couple at heart of Prop 8 case speak out

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After a federal judge ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional on Wednesday, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley, the two women who brought the case, spoke out at a press conference in San Francisco.

One poignant thought from Perry: “For so long, Sandy and I and our family have been regarded as less than, unequal, not worthy of the pursuit of happiness under the law. This decision says that we are Americans, too. We, too, should be treated … Continue reading »

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